Records: Zookeepers receive warning after near-escape of grizzly bears

MILWAUKEE – Records show that two Milwaukee County Zoo employees were reprimanded after their failure to lock a gate almost resulted in the escape of two male grizzly bears in June, Don Behm of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Zoo officials said the bears entered an adjacent fenced area where they were confined and the public was not in danger. The incident did prompt the zoo to deploy a weapons team armed with high-caliber rifles outside the second fence as other employees ushered visitors into buildings, Behm wrote. Fresh produce lured the grizzlies back inside the primary containment area.

The Journal Sentinel obtained warning letters that were given to two zookeepers as a result of the incident, according to the story. The letters noted “careless job performance” and violations of the zoo’s lock policy for grizzly bears. They warned another failure to follow zoo policies would result in disciplinary action, “up to and including termination.” No other disciplinary action was taken.

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